Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Last Week: A Hodge Podge

Apparently, I was in a few different places last week: Portland, Amsterdam, Oslo.  The nine and a half hour flight from Portland to Amsterdam wasn't too shabby at all - got an entire row of four seats to myself!  With those four lovely seats, I got four hours of sleep...ahh.  Thank you, Dramamine and free red wine, for that beautiful slumber.  There were also some decent movies on the plane.  So two of those, and the sleep, passed the time well.

The trip to the U.S. really was so lovely, and much-needed.  But, I was also glad to get back to normal life here in Oslo (and my handsome husband).  And the icy, death-defying sidewalks...(how much longer does this winter jazz last??)

Anyway, moving on to the pics...

Got in some good farewell walks my last couple of days in Portland:

Pretty blooms in NW.

 To whoever walks around writing random stuff on sidewalks in P-town: thank you for the constant entertainment.

 More blooms. Thinking/hoping Oslo has a similar spring, only a couple (few?) months later...

 Sweet bike rack outside of Justa Pasta (which has the best spinach salad on earth...I'm not usually a salad person, but I'm like a moth to a flame when it comes to this little goody).

I usually despise graffiti, since it ruins otherwise nice buildings, bridges, etc.  However, when someone cleverly draws on a person (or animal) on a bus bench and/or poster advertisement, that's a different story.  I find it to be hilarious, always.  Sorry, Dove Lewis Animal Hospital, but this was too good to pass up.

Important: I'd like to give an extra special shout-out to my lovely friend Kate in Portland, who let me shack up at her apartment for my entire visit (also, shout-out to my awesome friends Josh and Laura, who let me slumber party at their house for a night and offered up their place as well).  Also, to all of my beautiful P-town friends I got to meet up with throughout the visit, thanks to all of you for a great time!

I suppose I must also add that I sang karaoke on my last Saturday night in Portland, in the form of a-ha's "Take on Me."  As a tribute to the great Kingdom of Norway.  Takk for the help hitting the high notes, Sam.

And that concludes my love affair with Portland for Winter 2011.

Did I mention how awesome it was that the cheapest ticket between Portland and Oslo included a six-hour layover in Amsterdam?  And that the middle of Amsterdam is just a quick train ride from the airport?  Because it was pretty awesome.  This is one layover I will never, ever complain about.

 'Twas sunny and beautiful in A-dam.  Took a really long walk around the city.  The only pic I took was at the flower market, though.   Ahh, well.

I made it back to Oslo late on Tuesday night of last week, a bit haggard from the journey, and ready to get to my apartment.  When my 50 lb/23 kilo rolling bag finally creaked around the luggage carousel, I heaved it off...only to find that the handle was broken and wouldn't pop up.  

Umm.  This would've been just fine, had a I not also had a 40 lb/18 kilo backpack to wear, and an additional 20 lb/9 kilo bag I planned to drag on top of the rolling bag.  Needless to say, the journey from airport to train to apartment was interesting (and ended with a $20/120 NOK cab ride for a 0.6 mi/1k journey, and a luggage drag up three flights of stairs).  

You like those conversions?  

I have some Oslo pics from our tour of the crazy Holmenkollen ski jump last weekend, but this has really turned into a doozie of a post.  So they will now come next week, in a post whose major theme will (shockingly!) be: snø.  As will every post of mine through perhaps the end of April...

Moment of Zen:
Happy.  Elated.  Overjoyed.  To have these products available for use in the kitchen (not at the same time, because that wouldn't be very tasty, would it?).  Grilled burgers in the 20F/-7C tropics on our balcony this week, then topped them with delish pickles for the first time in almost five months.  And I'm making homemade tortilla chips this weekend with this bag of masa goodness.  Mmm...